Religions (Journal)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial responsibility


Editor for Special Issue on Modern Approaches to the Sīrah Genre, Prophetic Stories, and Prophethood in Islamic Thought.
This Special Issue will focus on:

The current approaches and future trajectories of the sīrah genre (biography of Prophet Muhammad);
Modern studies of nubuwwah (prophethood) in Islamic thought;
Qasas al-anbiya (prophetic stories) literature.
More specifically, it will investigate the current literature on the sīrah discipline, its connection to the above three interrelated areas, and the direction in which these disciplines are moving.

Scholarship on sīrah, prophethood, and prophetic stories is inherently connected and can be listed as part of the three fundamental areas (usul a-thalatha) of Islamic theology—namely, topics pertaining to nubuwwah. By focusing on these areas, this issue aims to capture the recent debates around prophethood, as well as discussions around the life of Prophet Muhammad, who sits at the core of the Islamic tradition.

In the last few decades, sīrah studies have significantly shifted in direction in both Muslim and Western scholarship. In the Muslim world, since the late 19th and early 20th century, it can be argued that while works focusing on the chronological accounts of the Prophet’s biography have remained intact as a primary methodology, their focus has been somewhat different; their emphasis has been on depicting a life that can be justified with the material sciences which is devoid of miracles per se. Reports coming through a weak chain of narrators are another central area of contention from a methodological perspective. The main concern in recent decades has been the relevance of the life of the Prophet, the lessons that can be derived from his sīrah, and the implications of his message and teachings in pluralistic societies. In other words, the main focus seems to be on the fiqh al-sīrah and the philosophy of sīrah. On the other hand, Western studies have been extremely revisionist, critical, and suspicious of sīrah to the extent of them questioning whether the Prophet Muhammad existed or depicted him as a “warmonger”. This approach has significantly changed in the last two centuries. Now, the primary focus tends to be on the particular areas of his message and the relevance of his covenants, interreligious activities, and teachings and practices in support of a multicultural lifestyle.

Thus, this issue primarily aims to include research that investigates and deciphers recent studies of the Prophet Muhammad’s life and their future direction in both Muslim and non-Muslim scholarship. Since his life cannot be separated from the line of prophets, prophetic stories, and the central debates around prophethood (nubuwwah), articles pertaining to these areas are also welcomed. It is worth mentioning that reading sīrah through the lens of Islamic theology was one of the core arguments for neo-kalam movements in Islamic modernism. Thus, theology-related articles that will contribute, enrich, and clarify the discussion of the future of these genres will also be considered for inclusion.

Topics can include but do not need to be limited to:

Modern studies on sīrah (the life of Prophet Muhammad);
Current and future trajectories of sīrah writings;
Evaluation of Orientalists’ works on sīrah of the Prophet;
Evaluation of Muslim scholarship on sīrah;
Changes in approach to sīrah in Western and Muslim scholarship;
Fiqh al-sīrah or philosophy of sīrah works;
Sīrah’s relation with other Islamic sciences—i.e., hadith, tafsir, history, etc.;
Sīrah through the lens of most recent archeological findings;
Sīrah readings and approaches to sīrah in other denominations in modern times;
Nubuwwah (prophethood);
Attributes of prophets;
Infallibility of prophets (ismat al-anbiya) ;
Dalāil al-nubuwwah (proof and evidence of prophethood);
Prophetic stories in the Qur’an and Islamic tradition;
Implication and connection of the Prophetic stories to the life and message of Prophet Muhammad.
Type of journalJournal
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Prophet Muhammad
  • Sirah
  • Islamic Modernism
  • Prophethood
  • Stories of Prophets
  • Sirah Philosophy
  • Fiqh al-Sirah
  • Nubuwwah
  • Qasas al-Anbiya